He Changdi turned his gaze towards the horizon. Though his footsteps remained steady, his thoughts had already drifted far away.
Other than Duke Lu and himself, even Captain Guo didn't know the real reason for his sudden promotion.
Even though he had been performing exceptionally in the army, he wasn't the only one. He wasn't as silly as to think that this was some special treatment gifted from the heavens because of his reincarnation.
He knew clearly what the personality of Duke Lu, also known as Great General Qian, was like after living two lifetimes. Even if General Qian's very own son came to this army, then he would still have to start from the lowest rank amongst soldiers. Furthermore, the general's demands would be even stricter. Since that was the case for the general's own flesh and blood, then some stranger like him would never receive any preferential treatment.
Getting to work under Captain Guo and rising to the post of lieutenant in such a short time was already quite the feat. That was also due to a combination of his previous life's memories and the help of Prince Jin.
He had been able to meet Great General Qian once more thanks to that grape wine Chu Lian had sent over. But although General Qian loved wine, he definitely wouldn't promote him based on that alone.
Thus, when Captain Guo had informed him that he had been promoted to a captain of the infantry, even He Changdi himself had been surprised.
At that moment, he had immediately requested to meet General Qian.
General Qian wasn't someone who liked to hide things, so he immediately revealed that it was Old Duke Zheng who had sent him a letter and requested for his promotion.
Old Duke Zheng had been General Qian's teacher in the past. His teacher had sent him a letter all the way from the capital just to tell him to give He Sanlang a chance. How could he not accept his teacher's request and do this small favour for him?
Furthermore, Old Duke Zheng was the person that General Qian respected most in his life. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that if his own father gave an order, General Qian might not even listen, but if it were Old Duke Zheng, then his words were like law. No matter what, General Qian would do his best to execute his orders.
Old Duke Zheng rarely requested favours from others, too, so General Qian couldn't just ignore the request.
However, He Changdi wasn't stupid. He wouldn't reject the promotion due to some misplaced sense of pride. As his rank grew higher, it meant that his starting point was placed even closer to his end goal, and he would be able to achieve his desires even faster.
He just didn't want to be someone blissfully unaware. There was always a reason behind abnormal situations. Although his grandmother was close with Old Duchess Zheng and they interacted often, that was only between the two old matriarchs. Their houses remained aloof to each other.
In his past life, after House Jing'an had landed in such a sorry state, Old Duke Zheng had never even said a single word of mercy in front of the Emperor. Why would he send a letter to General Qian now to take special care of him?
As much as He Changdi wanted to continue asking, he knew that he wouldn't be able to find anything out from General Qian. Firstly, without considering whether General Qian even knew about the details behind this request, he probably wouldn't be willing to divulge them to him.
After He Changdi asked to be excused from General Qian's presence, he could only wait for Prince Jin's letters or any letters from home to give him some sort of an explanation.
He Changdi hadn't received any letters from home for quite some time. He didn't even know if that wicked woman Chu Lian had been behaving properly in the estate. If she dared to make any inappropriate moves, then he would cast her off the moment he returned to the capital!
As these messy thoughts brawled back and forth inside his head, he managed to walk a rather far distance.
He Changdi remembered something from his previous life: a month after the Autumn Examinations, the Tuhun had suddenly begun to attack the northern border- the same northern border that had remained peaceful for five years before.
General Qian had brought over his troops to suppress the invasion for five whole months before he succeeded in maintaining the peace. Back then, the northern border troops had suffered heavy casualties. Furthermore, it had been winter and a blizzard had sealed off the mountain area. Supplies had been cut off from Liangzhou and over a fifth of the army had starved to death.
It was only after the snows had melted and spring had come, letting supplies flow into Liangzhou once again, that the situation had eased. They then destroyed the invading Tuhuns in one go.
It was also in that war that the captain of the left wing army under General Qian's command had achieved much merit and was promoted to General Changping. This captain-turned-general had even been given a noble title.
He Changdi's eyes narrowed and a bright glint flashed from within his pupils.
This time around, the wildlands where he'd met his end, his old place of exile, would become the same place he would start his journey from in his new life!